4

Jason Roebke Octet: Cinema Spiral

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Jason Roebke Octet: Cinema Spiral
The widely acclaimed collaborative nature of the contemporary Chicago jazz scene is expertly demonstrated on Cinema Spiral, the sophomore effort by double bassist Jason Roebke's all-star Octet, which continues the creative in-roads made on the unit's celebrated 2014 Delmark Records debut, High/Red/Center.

Starring eight of the Windy City's most intrepid improvisers, the ensemble features the muscular frontline of cornetist Josh Berman, trombonist Jeb Bishop, alto saxophonist Greg Ward, tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson, and bass clarinetist Jason Stein. Vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, who adds distinctive color to the proceedings, joins Roebke and drummer Mike Reed as part of the responsive rhythm section.

In addition to his sidemen's myriad connections, Roebke has played with each member of the Octet in a number of different configurations, including Adasiewicz's Rolldown, Berman's trio, Bishop's trio, Jackson's quartet, Reed's People Places & Things, Stein's Locksmith Isidore, and Ward's 10 Tongues, among others. Testing his band's cooperative sensibility and improvisational mettle, Roebke pens deceptively simple but tightly arranged charts with ample room allotted for unpredictable spontaneous detours.

The continuous seven-part opus features a series of recurring motifs—similar to film score cues—that appear at regular intervals throughout the set. Caterwauling polyphony and passages of aleatoric impressionism establish the album's avant-garde tone, though Roebke's writing is more Technicolor than black & white. The serene ballad "For a Moment" stands in stark contrast to the cacophonous collectivism of "People Laughing," while harmonious swing materializes on the grooving number "Waiting," and the ebullient 6/8 sway of the closer "L'acmé."

The late 1960s Blue Note recordings of luminaries like Eric Dolphy, Bobby Hutcherson and Jackie McLean have had a noticeable influence on Chicago's current generation of musicians—Roebke included. But Roebke has managed to incorporate the angular melodies and lockstep rhythms of those seminal classics into his own writing far more organically than most. Aided by the stellar contributions of his bandmates, Cinema Spiral offers a keen summary of Roebke's burgeoning talents as a bassist, composer, and bandleader of note.

Track Listing

Looking directly into the camera; Focusing; For a Moment; Getting High; People Laughing; Waiting; L'acmé

Personnel

Greg Ward: alto saxophone; Keefe Jackson: tenor, sopranino saxophones, contrabass clarinet; Jason Stein: bass clarinet; Josh Berman: trumpet; Jeb Bishop: trombone; Jason Adasiewicz: vibes; Jason Roebke: bass; Mike Reed: drums.

Album information

Title: Cinema Spiral | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Rhythm City
Rhythm City
Ptah Williams, Larry Kornfeld, Rob Silverman
Read Stringers & Struts
Stringers & Struts
Rempis/Parker/Flaten/Cunningham
Read Live In Maui
Live In Maui
Jimi Hendrix Experience

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.